Crime doesn’t pay, but battling it yields some significant funding for the Dothan Police Department and its officers.
Last week the Dothan City Commission approved an agreement between the DPD, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, and the Drug Enforcement Administration to provide up to $26,744 per year for the DPD’s service on the Montgomery High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA). Most of the money will serve as reimbursement for overtime expenses Dothan’s officers and investigators accrue while working on cases that could have local and regional impact.
In the 2019 fiscal year, Dothan police officers will serve on cases for at least eight different federal-level task forces, with reimbursements topping $155,000. Partnerships with the federal agencies help in the battle against crime in a few ways, said Dothan Police Chief Steve Parrish.
“One of the No. 1 benefits is you can cross jurisdictional lines easily,” he said. “The resources at the disposal of the federal government are a lot greater than at the local level, also.”
The task forces make sense given Dothan’s proximity to two other states, Parrish said. Additionally Dothan’s location on three major thoroughfares could attract traffic for illicit reasons as well.
The task forces in which Dothan participates address different subject matters. While HIDTA aims to curb drug trafficking, a U.S. Secret Service partnership tries to reduce mail fraud, counterfeiting, and child trafficking, Parrish said.
The task forces aid both local and regional law enforcement agencies. Parrish said some of the federal-level cases can begin with crimes identified locally, or some of the cases could begin in larger cities like Birmingham and Atlanta and eventually involve Dothan officers.
The task forces DPD officials have assisted or will assist in the 2019 fiscal year are:
>> U.S. Marshals Service Regional Fugitive Task Force (fugitive recovery) – $13,000
>> DEA’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force – $45,587.82
>> Safe Streets, Federal Bureau of Investigation’s task force on violent crimes – $17,548
>> Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – $15,371.50
>> DEA Montgomery Task Force – $18,344
>> DEA’s Montgomery High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force – $26,744 ($8,400 for vehicle usage reimbursement)
>> U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force – $1,000
>> FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force – $18,042.